Dark underarms: Causes and treatments

A common problem area for women is the underarm because of how easy it can discolor.

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF pexels/cliff booth
DARK underarms may be attributed to a medical concern.

We may attribute this problematic aspect of having discoloration — as well as hair and texture — to societal standards. But with pigmentation, it can be a medical concern.

In a conversation with one of the doctors at Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations, she linked underarm discoloration to obesity, hormones, pregnancy, diabetes and atopic dermatitis as well as contact dermatitis.

According to Medical News Today, obesity and diabetes are factors of dark areas of skin due to pigment cells multiplying faster than usual.

With hormones and pregnancy, discoloration or hyperpigmentation are usually caused by excess estrogen and progesterone according to Healthline.

Meanwhile, contact dermatitis is often due to the usage of antiperspirants, especially if it is scented.

Atopic dermatitis is when “the skin is really dry. Because of the friction, it creates heat which will create inflammation that contributes to the discoloration.”

Upon assessment of the problem area, the doctor will determine if the patient should be given topical anti-inflammatory medicine that should be applied twice a day for seven days.

However, what is always recommended is a good moisturizer with a thick consistency.

“If your underarm is well-hydrated, even if it creates friction, it won’t create heat and (cause) inflammation. We encourage (patients) to apply moisturizer at night,” she said.

If the treatments mentioned above are not suitable for the patient, she prescribes laser treatment.

Luminisce recently introduced its Pico Suite, innovative machines that fire laser beam energy at the skin in picoseconds, a trillionth of a second as compared to the usual nanosecond that is only a billionth of a second.

Luminisce clinics house the Pico Majesty which has the shortest pulse duration in the industry, making it easier to shatter pigments; the PicoPlus, the most versatile Pico laser in the market that can be customized to the patient’s needs; and PicoSure Pro which is also versatile but has a wavelength that’s considered the “sweet spot” for most pigments.

The PicoPlus has four multiple wavelengths that target different types of pigmentation and scarring while the PicoSure Pro is the only picosecond device FDA-cleared to treat melasma pigment, Nevus of Ota and Hori’s Nevus.

Meanwhile, PicoMajesty is the most recommended machine for addressing underarm discoloration, including acne, scars and even tattoos.

This was also the treatment that was recommended for me.


My treatment

Upon assessment, the doctor said the discoloration on my underarm was caused by atopic dermatitis.

She fired away with the PicoMajesty and prescribed me the Clobetasol (Dermovate) cream that is to be applied thinly twice a day for seven days along with the Lit Cream, a whitening cream, and a thick moisturizer.

As I have only been able to do the treatment once — while it is recommended that I have it done for at least three times — I have yet to see results. I will give an update once all treatments are done.

Those who wish to try and know more about the treatments may book a consultation with Luminisce. Call 09778044601, email [email protected] or visit luminisce.com, @luminisce on Facebook and @liminisce_official on Instagram.

Luminisce clinics are located in BGC (2/F Mercury Drug Bldg., 32nd Street, 4th Ave., Fort Bonifacio Global City); The Podium (4/F The Podium Mall, 18 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City); and Molito Alabang (Unit 5 Bldg. 8 Molito Lifestyle Center, Madrigal Avenue cor. Alabang Zapote Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City).